Years on the NLS team: 2006 - present
The NLS is the study I hired into NORC for so it will always be very special to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it from interviewing the original respondents to assessing their children. As a national traveler for both NLS projects, I have been able to meet people all across the country from all walks of life and have found it fascinating to be able to interact with such a diverse population. As a traveler I was also presented with many challenges from working in unfamiliar areas to learning how to logistically plan trips to obtain the best results. The first time I traveled in the Los Angeles area I remember thinking to myself I have never seen so much traffic! Navigating the freeways presented a new challenge so my GPS quickly became my best friend. This longitudinal study presents many other challenges because it has gone on for so long. For example, some respondents have grown tired of it so my job is to listen very closely to their reasons in order to respond in a way that helps them realize why the study still continues and their importance to it. In doing this I have found it most helpful to explain to them the effect it has on social science research and policies across the nation that affect all of us. There are many rewards to this position as well. One of the most rewarding aspects for me has been to work with the same respondents round after round that live in my local area and to observe all of the changes in their lives. When all is said and done the rewards of this position far outweigh any of the challenges.
I think being part of a study that has documented the evolution of society and directly impacts public policy is something to be very proud of. I am honored to be part of this team.